Southeast Missourian: Adrienne Ross Publishes Book Inspired by Aunt Alma



The Southeast Missourian published an article about my new book, #AuntAlma: Raisin’ a little Hell Heaven on Earth:

If there’s one thing author and motivational speaker Adrienne Ross knows, it’s the best laughs usually aren’t scripted.

That’s why she decided recently to write a book based on the off-the-cuff sayings of her indomitable, 79-year-old Aunt Alma.

“She never knew that I was taking notes when she was talking,” said Ross, a former English teacher who originally began sharing her “Aunt Alma-isms” on Facebook and Twitter.

“People would say, ‘Can you put that on T-shirts or put that on a mug?'” said Ross, who is owner of Adrienne Ross Communications and a member of the Southeast Missourian editorial board.

Friends and followers liked Aunt Alma’s quotations so much, Ross said she decided to translate that popularity into the book, titled “#AuntAlma: Raisin’ a Little Hell Heaven on Earth.”

“It’s a positive, lighthearted book, but it’s based on real issues,” Ross said. “It’s funny because of what she says and how she expresses it, but the topics are real.”
The book combines quotes with illustrations that cover everything from growing old to the antics of young people today. Think some combination of actor Tyler Perry’s alter ego Madea and an African-American version of the cartoon character Maxine, “with a lot more class and a lot more sass,” Ross said.

Such as: “Ain’t nobody in heaven raisin’ hell,” and, “I know he’s a preacher, but that don’t make no difference. He can be a preacher and a fool, too.”

Furthermore: “What you mean, I gotta give you 24 hours’ notice to cancel my appointment? How in the hell was I supposed to know 24 hours ago that I would be sick today?”

Ross said these are the types of things she grew up listening to in New York, where her Southern aunt helped raise her and her siblings while earning a master’s degree in social work.

Besides her natural inclinations of “comedy” and “crazy,” Alma taught her niece the value of hard work and getting an education. She also modeled plenty of fun.

“Aunt Alma was always my favorite aunt — the one who let you stay up late and took you out to eat,” Ross said.

When the older woman was in graduate school, Ross would proofread her papers at night and said that might have influenced her to pursue teaching English.

Eventually, a book was born.

Now, Ross has launched a website for the book,, complete with complementary merchandise and book-signing dates and places.

She will host a local book-signing event from 5 to 8 p.m. July 22 in the Barnes & Noble store at West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau.

(573) 388-3652

The book signing is at Barnes & Noble in Cape Girardeau from 5-8 p.m. Please come, purchase a book, and allow me the honor of signing it.

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